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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Longridge to Arnside Direct (1)

Friday 23rd. November 2018 - Longridge to Bleasedale

Draw a straight line on the map and try to walk as near as possible to it. Nick Crane did this walking the two degree line of longitude from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Isle of Purbeck and produced the most entertaining, by far, long walk account I have ever read: Two Degrees West. Nick's route had the added aesthetic attraction of being strictly north to south.

I am currently embarked on my own version from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Carey which was originally intended to be done in one hit, but a broken arm, and then a replacement knee intervened - I hope to resume sometime around Easter next year.

My friend Bowland Climber who comments here suggested a line between our respective houses. The straight line is 26.5 miles, but we will probably walk nearer forty miles and we are splitting it into day walks using two cars. See BC's resumé   HERE

We anticipate some problems with pathless hill terrain on the next section, and access problems further on, but more of that as it happens.

Today we walked on pleasant paths, tracks and road and kept  pretty close to our straight line. We noticed that many stiles are in disrepair and often dangerous.

This bizarre swing in the middle of nowhere had a surreal quality.

BC told me his kids used to fish in this pond.
 It has a close neighbour hence the Figure of Eight Ponds as christened by BC's  kids.

I was apprehensive on this crossing and was heartened to see that BC took it very carefully.

When we arrived here the gate had a massive combination padlock, but within seconds a lady arrived in a pick-up and unlocked the gate. She told us of the sad demise of the farm a few hundred yards down the track - she was a neighbour just accessing the land to winter some sheep.

At the deserted farm.
 All a bit sad, but indications were that it had been neglected before its demise.
I was taken with the attractive stone walling of the barn (click to enlarge.) This had a particularly attractive kind of sandstone.

BC looks towards Parlick and Fair Snape Fell.
 The next part of our straight line will go over the lower hills partly obscured by BC's hat

Nick Crane allowed himself 1 kilometre each side of his line - I think we have kept within that  restriction.
We independently plotted the route and as far as I can tell the only variance was the red bit in the centre of the map: BC's alternative which kept closer to the straight line.


  1. A good and true account.
    Since when have you started to use the term 'kids' to describe children? Maybe it was me.

  2. BC - I was in two minds about using "kids", it is not a pretty word. Mea culpa

  3. I like doing that myself. Drawing a line and walking as close as possible to it. It’s usually when I’ve had a few red wines. Ha.
    No, your walk is a grand couple of days out and we look forward to your next episode.
    I have one planned from Lancaster to Clitheroe, not a straight line though. Hopefully we will do it in the spring.

  4. "a grand couple of days" may take us more than that.

  5. In Italy there was a vogue for reducing the options on long rock routes especially in the Dolomites to the "straightest, bottom to top". These were called "direttissima". Inevitably the first attempts were never entirely straight and someone would come along and put up an even straighter route. Leaving them with a taxonomical problem: saying "even straighter" in just one word. And then "even straighter than even straighter". Monoglot Englishmen with nothing better to do would poke fun at this problem.

    I only mention this just in case you decide to give this walk a name. Causing someone less well stricken in years to cross that bridge on the left sidewall and thereby claim greater straightness. Consider the option "Straight, given our age" and then translating it into German, via the Lego method. Or is this more of my multi-lingualism that you sniffed at in an earler re-comment?

  6. Alan R - Bowland Climber beat me to it. We are already on day two and not half-way


    RR - Why German? If one kilometre either side is good enough for Nick Crane it's good enough for me. The likelihood of anybody else wanting to follow or straighten our line is remote because it is personal between our two houses. We, that is BC and another friend J, finished day two yesterday (post pending) and there was a fair amount of debate about The Line. In the interests of security it has been slightly misaligned to avoid direct identification of our abodes. There is an opposing philosophy in climbing where one might avoid the direct direct because it includes such good holds that it would reduce the grading. That very much applies on climbing walls where routes are identified with colour coded holds, so you only climb on the colour of your route. Setting routes on climbing walls is a skilful job.

  7. I can see that the Roman road surveyors have , at last, found their natural successors: as your task is not, at present at least, to create a military highway, you will need fewer slaves to execute your plans. But a few are always handy to have around: fishing you out of the stream might be one - or ferrying you across it, more likely.
    Nice concept. Does it allow for 'trespass' ?

  8. Oh dear. German because German allows you - quite legitimately - to convert what would be a single long phrase in English into a single long word. As I explained ("the Lego method"). For example:


    Widow of the captain with the Danube steamship company.

    How you huff and puff. I said "in case you decide to give this walk a name" Have you ever given a walk a name? Is it likely? Is it likely that someone else would want to do your walk more directly? And then rename it while not departing entirely from your original name?

    This is a comment about labelling. If a climb is given a name which suggests the "ultimacy" of straightness, this presents taxonomic problems for those who refine the climb by making it more direct while retaining the linguistic roots of the original.

    But haven't I already made this clear?

  9. gimmer - I have some credentials for involvement in road making. In my erstwhile occupation I had a good customer involved in that industry and I financed a lot of his machinery, especially the massive cold planers. I think there is enough disruption going on with the proposed HS2, and we prefer a leisurely traverse of our route rather than creating ways of speeding up the journey time. In any case, it looks like cheap foreign labour (slaves) may be coming to an end in the UK.

    Trespass may well be needed a bit further on. We have debated the possibility of sneaking through the Quernmore estate at 3:00 am.


    RR - Whatever reply I had given you would have come back with some criticism. The only walk I did try to name was what started out to be Lowestoft to St. Bees Head being a debatable furthest east to furthest west in England, not a very original name I acknowledge. However, two or three days from the finish I fell coming down Nam Bield Pass in the Lake District and cut a vein in my shin. I hobbled out a few miles down to Patterdale and booked into the Patterdale Hotel where I had spent my honeymoon many years before. The walk was over, but re-named The Broads to the Lakes.